It seems these days you can only go a few months, sometimes only just a mere few weeks before hearing reports on the latest mass recall on well known and trusted products we frequently use in our homes on everything from baby gear, to what we put on our plates and on our families skin. Now I don’t know about you, but after the recent recall on about 30+ sunscreens, I was left feeling somewhat helpless and frustrated while I proceeded to dump a few of those spray bottle sunscreens I was so proud I caught a deal on at Target just a few weeks prior. I questioned: “Well what exactly is safe these days and how are we as parents and consumers supposed to keep up with the constant changes and warnings?”
On Thursday, August 13, among 100 or so like-minded guest who were inspired to make a difference for their environment and their children, I attended the 3rd annual Healthy Child Healthy World Luncheon at the Topping Rose House in Bridge Hampton.
The informative and passionate panel of experts included: executive director of Environmental Working Group, Heather B. White, environmental activist, producer of “An Inconvenient Truth” and family cook Laurie David and Dr. Harvey Karp a nationally renowned American pediatrician, who all share the same commitment to empowering parents to take action to protect their children.
After being welcomed by co-chairs Latham Thomas (of Mama Glow) and Rachel Ash we all learned about how the loss of the founders young child to a non-genetic form of Wilm’s tumor initiated their beginnings of Healthy Child Healthy World. We couldn’t help but to feel alarmed and concerned after viewing “A Wake-Up Story” the organizations award-winning, must-see video that teaches parents and care-givers all about the health hazards children face from day to day. Once you watch it you’ll want to share it and join the movement because it’s message is eye opening.
Did you know that children are exposed to 200 industrial chemicals while developing in the womb?
Toxic chemicals have a tremendous affect on child development and as parents and caregivers we have to stay conscious and educated! Here are four takeaways from the event that will get us all on a track to a healthier future:
1. Just because it say’s “Less sugar” doesn’t mean it’s healthy: So many food products on store shelves and in commercials target our children with fun, colorful characters and toys and when consumers see key phrases like “low fat” and “less sugar” we are often unaware of those often hard to pronounce ingredients lurking in our foods and the damage they are causing to our bodies. The Environmental Working Group developed Food Scores to help you navigate those supermarket aisles and created a downloadable app for iPhone and Android to help you make well informed choices.
2. Preparing food at home with your family means more quality time and quality meals: I’ll be the first to admit sometimes life gets in the way and we turn to quick and easy frozen meals because we think it’s a quick fix and relatively less expensive or time consuming than preparing something at home. While sitting down to chat with producer and activist Laurie David she conveyed wanting to debunk the myth that buying healthy and organic food is just too expensive and wants everyone to know that home-cooking is making a comeback! In her latest book, The Family Cooks, you’ll find over 100 recipes that will inspire you and your family to gain control over what you are eating by making it yourself. “People are more conscious of how much they use when they actually see it being added in, which means less sugar, less salt and cutting back on heart disease, childhood obesity and diabetes,” she says. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the latest documentary “Fed Up” which will probably have you proceed to your snack cabinets to chuck those sugar-filled items in the trash right beside the sunscreen!
3. Say what? The last time there was any reform on cosmetic products was in 1938: I was shocked to learn that there are no requirements for health studies or pre-market testing before cosmetics and personal care products hit the shelves. Like me, I’m sure many of you just assumed these items were safe and sadly that’s just not the case. In 36 years the U.S has only found 11 ingredients unsafe compared to the hundreds discovered in Europe. If you stop by EWG’s Skin Deep page and download the app you’ll discover which products contain ingredients that are are most toxic.
4. “Democracy is not a spectator sport. You have to participate,” says Heather White, Executive Director of EWG. If you’d like to take action:
- Please tell Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to work to make S. 697 truly protective of children’s health. It needs to protect states’ abilities to regulate chemicals and ensure a strong safety standard. Here is a fact sheet and an online petition form:
Fact Sheet: Industry Chemical Bill (S. 697) Worse Than Current Law
Online TSCA Reform Petition: Support Real Chemical Safety Reform
Bill Text: S. 725 Alan Reinstein and Trevor Schaefer Toxic Chemical Protection Act Sponsored by Sen. Boxer
- Please tell Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to support the Feinstein-Collins cosmetics law reform legislation, S. 1014. This bill would update the 1938 law, create a strong safety standard, and preserve states’ abilities to regulate cosmetic ingredients. More info here:
- Please tell your House member to Defeat the DARK Act, or the Deny Americans Right to Know (DARK) bill, HR 4432, sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan) that would prohibit states from labeling GMO food. Around the world 64 countries require GMO labeling and it’s time for the U.S. to do it, too. We need more transparency, not less, when it comes to the food we’re buying. More info here:
- Please support Healthy Child Healthy World and donate today to help us continue to educate and empower parents to protect their children from harmful chemicals. To make a donation, please click HERE.
The panel discussion ended with Dr. Harvey Karp expressing that his hopes were that we left with righteous indignation to want to do something. “You would think these days that kids are more resilient, but in fact they are more vulnerable to chemicals because they drink more water, breathe more air, consume 3x more fruit and vegetables and well, kids are kids, you’ll find them crawling on the floor. With that said the goal isn’t to feel overwhelmed but to be aware of the need to build future healthier communities.”
Danielle Wilson is an editor and lifestyle blogger. Read more from here at dellahsjubilation.blogspot.com